Moving out of state and having a “mover’s block”? You know, like a writer’s block? You may be suffering from productivity paralysis.

That’s when you have an incredibly long to-do list and your brain is moving at warp speed, but your body isn’t springing into action. This usually happens when there’s so much to be done you don’t know where to start. And it’s totally understandable — moving is overwhelming under the best of circumstances. Add some distance to the move and you’re adding even more stress.

If you’re looking for options for your long-distance move, learn what PODS can do for you.

Want to know how to move out of state and manage to keep your cool and keep things moving (in more ways than one) at the same time? Take advantage of this moving-out-of-state checklist.

1. Make a moving budget

Let’s address the hard truth head-on: Moving out of state is going to cost some money. But it doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re moving because of a job opportunity, ask if your new employer offers relocation assistance. If that’s not an option, there are still plenty of ways to save. One of the best is deciding on a budget and keeping track of expenses.

How much should you budget to move out of state? That depends on several factors, such as how far you’re actually moving and how large your household is. Start by making your own smaller checklist for moving out of state by listing everything you’ll personally need to make the move — a moving company, packing supplies, car shipping, transportation, house cleaning services — you get the point. Then write down estimated costs for each. 

Need help finding those figures? The PODS Blog has some sample costs you can use. Once you see the expected move price, decide on a comfortable monetary range for your long-distance move. Reference this range any time you receive a quote, but keep in mind what time of year you’re planning to move and the current state of the housing market. Those factors can certainly cause prices to fluctuate.

Close-up of a finger reaching to select a weather app on a mobile phone screen.

2. Get to know your new community

We’re going to assume you’ve already found your new residence, but you may not know the lay of the land quite yet. Whether you’re looking for new schools or just a great new coffee spot, here are some ways to get to know your new city:

  • Join a neighborhood social media group.
  • Use an online educational resource like to research school options.
  • Check out the average temps. You may find that you need snow tires, hurricane glass for your windows, a professional mosquito service, etc.
  • See what stores and shops are located in your close vicinity. Getting to an empty house and having an empty stomach can be tough. Find a place where you can get a quick meal and some groceries.
  • Find new medical providers in your area. One day, you’ll need that doctor, dentist, pediatrician, or vet. Have some names available when the time comes.
  • Note typical traffic patterns. If you’re commuting to a new job, find out how long it will take to get there or if there’s public transit available.
Insider Tip: If you haven’t picked your perfect place yet, the PODS Blog has some great tips for finding a home and making a moving plan). 

3. Research the best out-of-state moving companies

When you’re trying to stick to a moving budget, it can be tempting to explore DIY options because they not only save time, but they add flexibility because you’re in control of the schedule. While this may end up being the cheapest way to move out of state, if you’re not an experienced rental truck driver, if you’re unable to lift heavy objects, or if you’re simply not comfortable personally transporting your things safely across state lines, the money you save on the front end may be spent on the back end making up for damaged goods, car issues, etc. Sometimes, spending money on professional moving help can actually save you money in the long run.

Plus, not all professional movers have strict timeline requirements. Choosing a flexible moving company like PODS can make all the difference. You can have your container delivered right to your driveway weeks before you make your move, allowing you to pack and load at your own pace — and avoid the stress of a rushed move. And you won’t have to worry about driving an unwieldy moving truck through unfamiliar highways either. PODS will pick up the container and deliver it to your new home, whether that’s two states away or across the Pacific in Hawaii. Wherever your move takes you, PODS has you covered.

A man looking at the PODSboxes.com mobile website while he orders moving supplies online.

4. Order moving supplies

Ok, it’s almost time to start packing. But first: packing supplies. You’re going to need boxes — lots and lots of boxes — plus tape, markers, blankets, and bubble wrap. Check your local neighborhood social media groups to see if anyone has recently made a move and can spare some extra supplies. You’ll probably still have to order some of your own, though.

5. Cut the clutter

Packing isn’t the most enjoyable activity. We get it. But what makes it worse is loading something up only to get it to your new home and never use it — or maybe to never even unpack it. Right now, before you start putting things in boxes, is the perfect time to do a major home cleanout.

Uh oh! Is productivity paralysis kicking in again? Use this simple decluttering guide to snap out of it.

Q: What items are not worth moving?
A: Besides getting rid of broken, unused, or unwanted items, it’s a good rule of thumb not to pack perishable goods, papers that don’t contain important information, used toiletries, expired medications, outdated electronics, and old cleaning supplies. 

6. Pack early and often

It’s tough to know where to begin when it comes to packing. While it’s tempting to start with the easy items, like clothing or books, that may not be the best strategy. It helps to have a plan so you can fight fatigue and burnout. The PODS blog has some packing recommendations for turning this burdensome chore into a task you can easily (ok, somewhat easily) tackle.

A man prepares for his upcoming out-of-state-move by setting up his new utilities and mail delivery address over the phone.

7. Set up utilities, mail delivery, and other key services

Not only will you need to schedule a disconnection date for your current utilities, internet, cable, and other services, but you’ll need to set them up at your new home, as well. You’ll also want to file a .

Other paperwork that will need to be addressed or updated includes:

  • Insurance
  • Car titles
  • Driver’s license
  • Credit cards and other non-electronic billing
  • Voter registration
Pro Tip: For more logistical moving help, download the PODS printable moving checklist.

8. Confirm details with your moving company

As you get closer to your move date, check in with your moving company to finalize dates and other important information. Make sure you have everything prepared for the actual move day, including making space for the truck and pathways for moving large pieces of furniture. The more prep you can do beforehand, the less frantic things will feel on moving day.

9. Make travel plans

If you’re moving a considerable distance, you may want to consider flying to your destination and having your car professionally shipped versus making a long road trip yourself. Professional car shipping not only saves time, it cuts stress.

A group of friends enjoying each other’s company over dinner before one of them moves out of state.

10. Practice self-care

Once that productivity paralysis is gone and you’re flying through your to-do list, it can be tough to slow things back down and take a break, but working non-stop eventually leads to an energy crash and mental fatigue.

Don’t forget to take some time for yourself through this out-of-state moving process. Whether it’s putting a pause on the packing for a long walk or making dinner dates with friends, find ways to take care of yourself along the way. Remember: It’s a journey. Make yours one to remember in the best way possible.


LB Gabriel is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, daughter, and Golden Retriever in Memphis, TN. A frequent PODS Blog contributor, she’s a sucker for any tip she can find on downsizing, cutting clutter, or minimalist living. When she’s not on a deadline, you can find her on a tennis court or golf course.

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